Saturday, November 14, 2015

Choosing the Right Point of View for your Story

Determining point of view (POV) for your story may seem like an easy thing to do. You pick a view and start writing. However, understanding that choosing point of view is one of the most important decisions you will make when writing your story. Choosing your point of view affects how much the readers will believe in your story and in turn, how much they’ll continue to read of your story.

So, choose well. You are going to choose the eyes the reader is going to view the action of your story. The point of view character is going to be whose head the reader is going to be inside of and whose feelings they will experience as the character experiences them.

There are basically three points of view: First Person, Second Person, and Third Person. However, when writing a story, most authors wouldn’t use the “Second Person” POV because “you” aren’t going to be a character in your story and the reader is smart enough to know that “you” aren’t a character in your story.

So, that leaves us with First Person and Third Person POV to choose from when writing your novel.

First of all, whose head do you want to be in during this story? Which character has the most interesting story to tell? Consider your POV character background and traits when determining the right Point of View. The most interesting character and the one who will provide the most interesting outlook on your novel should tell your story. Use this character to make unique observations that will keep your reader reading.

If you choose First Person, you’re choosing a great way to tell your story. It promotes an almost instant connection between the reader and your POV character. However, not every story can be told from First Person. What if there is information you want or don’t want your reader to know? How do you keep it from them, if your First Person POV character knows everything and shares it with the reader?

That’s when you choose Third Person point of view. With this POV, you are able to get in the head of various characters, share or not share information with the reader, depending on whose point of view is forefront. You are able to describe your characters from the outside, not just as seen from them, as in First Person. One of the best reasons for using Third Person is you can use multiple viewpoints. This is when you use more than one POV in your story so you’re not limited to a one narrator’s view. Best of all, you can withhold important information that will help keep the reader in suspense. Because, when it comes down to it, it’s all about keeping the reader reading and keeping those pages turning. 

Here is an infographic to help you determine the right point of view for your story.

And here is a writing challenge for you.

Which POV do you like to write in when creating your stories?

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